couple rowing in front of little girl with teddy bear

Sarah Ingram, Head of Tavistock Relationships’ ‘Parenting Together’ programme, talks about the programme and how parents can access this support.

Marian Oconnor

Parenting Together during the pandemic

Parenting can be challenging at the best of times, but right now the coronavirus pandemic is bringing many extra pressures to bear on families, and everyone is feeling tired and drained by the emotional demands of the situation we are all faced with.

Here at Tavistock Relationships, we’ve seen an increase in referrals to our ‘Parenting Together’ programme, which provides free parenting and relationship to support to families living in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Buckinghamshire, Peterborough, Essex, Southend and Thurrock.

We are finding that parents are really struggling to balance work and home schooling, as well as all the fear and uncertainty around the whole situation and continued social distancing measures. And they are missing their regular social interactions outside the home, such as meeting a friend for a coffee or a drink. Children are seeking reassurance from their parents and are picking up on the extra stress and anxiety their parents are feeling. This can result in challenging behaviour.

Concerns over jobs and finances, as well as differences of opinion over the risks associated with the virus, are placing extra stress on parents and their relationship, and many people are finding their fuses are becoming shorter with both their children and their partner. Conflict between parents can be very damaging to the wellbeing of their children.

Our programme, which has been running for just over a year, is for parents whether separated or together, as well as single parents. It is a free and flexible service, open to everyone with children aged under the age of 18, or under 25 if the child has additional needs.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have been running our ‘Parenting Together’ programme online. We aim to find a weekly time slot to suit you, whether it’s early in the morning before teenagers wake up, or in the evening after younger children have gone to bed.

Some of our programmes provide one-to-one sessions, while others are delivered in small groups. They are usually ten-week programmes, and they can be done via an online conferencing platform or via the phone.

During our sessions, our therapists will work with you to help you find ways of identifying the pressure points in your family life and managing your own stress, as well as that of your children.

We can help you find coping strategies for the difficult situations you are dealing with and to see what the trigger points are, how to offset them and manage those feelings or emotions.

To find out more and to apply for this free support direct go to https://www.tavistockrelationships.org/p-together or call us on 020 7380 1960.

Our ‘Building Relationships for Stronger Families’ programme also provides similar free support to parents in the London boroughs of Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Camden, Hammersmith & Fulham, Croydon, Brent and Lambeth. For more information, go to https://www.tavistockrelationships.org/relationship-help/freeservices

 

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